Councilman calls for filming transparency in NYC
by Andrew Shilling
Aug 28, 2013 | 398 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Over the years, Brooklyn streets have become a welcoming scene to the television and industry, with shows like Girls, Boardwalk Empire and dozens of independent movies filming in the borough.

On any given day, telephone poles can be found plastered with parking restrictions and announcements that roads are blocked off for filming of the next blockbuster hit.

Councilman Stephen Levin has introduced legislation that would require the mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting to better report employment data, costs and benefits of filming in New York City.

“Especially in the neighborhoods in my district, like Brooklyn Heights and Greenpoint, filming is taking place on a regular basis,” Levin said. “While our communities are very supportive of the many benefits that filming brings to our city, these shoots can sometimes cause headaches for residents.”

Levin's proposal would create a comprehensive website that outlines detailed information broken down by borough, community board, council district and street, and require monthly and annual reports related to the industry.

“By providing as much information as possible to the public about film shoots in New York City, we can create a more transparent city government and make filming a positive experience,” he said.

Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, said her community has become a prime location for film shoots.

“We have sought access to more information about filming in New York City,” Stanton said. “We therefore view this bill as a direct response to concerns voiced by our members regarding the impact of filming on the quality of life in Brooklyn Heights.”

Greenpoint resident Todd Eaton is also the co-chair of the Open Space Alliance Community Committee, and said he has long hoped for transparency to know when streets in his community would be closed.

“This bill is a great step in helping citizens understand how our neighborhood and streets are being used by the film industry, and what the resulting benefits are to our community,” Eaton said.

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